Seen Sasquatch Lately?
Know how when you haven’t participated in an endeavor for a lengthy while it can be tough working your way back in? It may seem that the entire set of surrounding circumstances has changed. All looks different.
Well, rabbit hunting ain’t necessarily like that! There have been times though, throughout these many years of traipsing and tripping, that the Wild Hare 101 educational process throws new stuff into the mix. Sometimes, it even sticks.
The first semester of 2018 opened on the very weekend my previous class—Beguiling Bucks 102—ended. Which means that very little prep time was involved, although who really needs practice when it comes to brier bleeding and falling upon one’s face?
Always the best part of one’s rabbit hunt is one’s cohorts: among them were Brad Gill, his daughter Rileigh, Greg Malcom, and brothers Blaine and Dale Burley of Woods-N-Water, our magnanimous hosts.
If you can’t cackle with that crowd around, your laughter’s broke.
Blaine’s son Brock and Dale’s daughter Daci helped round out the group. Just so you’ll know, having youngsters in tow makes any hunt roughly a thousand percent better.
So, back to it: you’re likely well aware of my history with technological devices of any type. To that end, when Greg began installing GPS collars on his beagles, I kept my mouth shut in rapt observance.
Because you ain’t learning nothing when you’re talking.
Most of my young life, I was the beagle: “Boy, get in there and stomp them briers. Boy, kick yer way through that swamp shrubbery. Boy, wander in amongst that fallen treetop and make it snap, crackle and pop. Mind you don’t get snakebit, cause we ain’t got time to stop and bleed the pizen out…”
I dearly love snakes to this day. Right.
GPS, huh? OK. Little did I know at the time how useful those little jewels would prove when it came time to chronicle this hunt.
One of the grand things about any such outing is roaming new places. I’d never even been near this spot, which makes it SO much easier to get lost right out of the truck.
Trouble was, Greg’s dogs are too good at what they do; five minutes after coming off the tailgate, they opened—and the race was on! I’ve hunted rabbits all my life; over all those years I remember only one other race to match this one.
A half-hour into it, that experience kicked in, and I figured the whole thing out: those five dogs had jumped Sasquatch and were hot on his heels!
Look, just because YOU haven’t seen him doesn’t mean he’s not out there. Same with a Georgia panther. However, a panther was immediately ruled out simply because he’s so much faster than Sasquatch.
At any rate, my thought process was that had it been a big cat, the dogs would have come hunting US, and we would have been climbing trees. I’m thinking even three loads of 6s from the 16 are a mite light for a panther. Even an imaginary one.
And after being chased by a five-pack, said cat won’t need no more encouragement at becoming agile, mobile and hostile…
When the race hit a full hour, Ol’ Squatch turned right at Oklahoma. Circling back through Kansas, Idaho, Alaska and Atlanta, he poured it on until reaching the Johnson County line—where we were waiting.
(Them GPSs is marvels, lemme tell you!)
That was the first full circle; apparently, he was limbered up now.
Be advised that a major key to at least getting a shot off at Bugs is to get AHEAD of him. Helicopters work well here, but since there was none readily available… Well, at least we knew—roughly, via the zig-zag-zig lines on Greg’s handheld GPS—where the racetrack/circle lay. Now then…
On the back side, and you don’t even want to know where that is, of the circle was a fence separating the wilderness we were in from a house (empty) and two mobile homes (also empty, I hope!) on a formerly well-kept half-acre.
The way I got this plotted, hightail it up to that fence row and Squatch will run right up it! No way he’s going to hit that open yard.
YEP! Wrong again.
Well, at least the DOGS ran right between the mobile homes, around the house and through that yard, noses down, tails wagging, throats bawling with every step.
That was the second lap, and IF this had been a rabbit, surely they would have run him down by now. That’s my philosophy, and I’m sticking to it!
Two and a half hours after the initial jump—you might want to read that again—and 50 yards from where I was standing, Greg Malcom shot a rabbit.
He asserts that it was THE rabbit; I say they was a’running Sasquatch. He says they covered 5.6 miles. Nope, we got a decimal snafu here: 5,600, maybe. He says the GPS don’t lie; well, I don’t know one that well.
Best I could tell, Blaine and Dale agreed with me. Gill took the opposing view, but he was just peeved at me because Rileigh wanted a pig from a neighboring farm, and I tried to buy her one. His argument was that this precious child already had chickens, but what kind of argument is that? After all, if there’s anything a chicken needs, it’s a pig for protection!
And YOU thought this was about a rabbit hunt…
Obviously, further research is required. One thing though: next time, we’re putting the GPS collar on the rabbit!
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